MFA Collection Books

Childe Hassam
At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight

Erica E. Hirshler
Format Regular Price Member Price
Softcover $9.95 $8.95

76 pages, 30 color illustrations., 5.75 x 8.25 in, ISBN: 978-0-87846-837-9

This vivid account of Childe Hassam’s 1880s cityscape chronicles one of Boston’s best-loved paintings. The rosy rusty tones, cozy trio, and quiet expanse of the snow-laden park in At Dusk (Boston Common at Twilight) seem to encourage reflection; yet in its time it heralded the emerging modern scene, from observations of women’s changing place in society to glowing depictions of the newly electric streetlamps on the busiest block in Boston. Drawing on related paintings and archival illustrations, Erica E. Hirshler explores the social shifts and evolving urban landscape behind the artist’s closely observed view of one of his favorite subjects, “the movements of humanity in the street.” Carefully researched and elegantly presented, this volume offers a new perspective to those already acquainted with the painting as well as an evocative look at a singular moment in Boston history.

Each volume in the MFA Spotlight series illuminates a significant work in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, offering a brief and engaging introduction to its creation and history.

About the Author

Erica E. Hirshler is Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.